Sorry For The Light Posting

I’m sorry I haven’t had as much time this past week to post too much. Among other things, I had been hoping to post a little review and commentary on the MarsDrive Reference Mission that was linked to last month on Hobbyspace. Unfortunately I’ve been rather busy this past week. We’re starting to get the vehicle plumbed up, and we’re also headed out tomorrow and Saturday to see if we can get the rest of the thermal data we need to finish our throttleable regen engine. On top of all that, I’ve been doing a lot of logistics work with one of the potential test sites for doing tethered tests of our XA-0.1, 0.2, and XL-0.1 vehicles. So I haven’t had much time or energy to do much blogging as of late.

Next week is Spring Break, so the other engineers and some of our interns will be around full-time next week, so I’ll likely be even more busy than I was this week. Just giving you a heads up.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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5 Responses to Sorry For The Light Posting

  1. Anonymous says:

    You might want to schedule 5 minutes to check out the notchbell altitude compensating nozzle. Just plug it into your air hose and check the flow. Should be there in the next couple of days.


  2. Jon Goff says:

    It got here yesterday. We couldn’t quite get it to seal all the way on our air hose. Maybe it’s a subtly different quick-disconnect style. I’m not sure. But the idea is intriguing. We’re not in much of a position to develop that idea right now, but I want to see how well the thing would work in metal with a real hot flow. We’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. Anonymous says:


    I may not have cleaned all the fiberglass off the connector. I had that problem on another unit and may have been careless with yours. These are the first fiberglass parts I have ever done, shows.

    There are a number of symetric thrust possibilities with multiple throats. Also TVC is easier with more than one throat.


  4. Anonymous says:


    I can glass a replacement around a pipe nipple if I know the size used in your shop.


  5. Big D says:

    Re: MarsDrive Reference Mission.

    Just read it this morning; it won’t surprise anybody that I support it in general, since I’ve been advocating “Mars Lego” for some time.

    I do question whether truss assembly is necessary,though… couldn’t the load-bearing structures on the booster segments be designed to dock to the next stage themselves? That way, you have them just sitting under the shroud already assembled prior to launch, and just dock the segments together with an arm, no EVA needed. You could use an inchworm arm like the ISS has, and just move it to the last segment in line and drag in the next to dock.

    Then, explosive bolts (have those *ever* failed in space?) just cut the stage free when it’s done.

    One stupid question–would it be a really bad thing to mount the boosters parallel and go LEO-TMI in one step, instead of taking an extra month of supplies and zero-g? Also, if you go parallel, you can take all of the expended stages and use them for your artificial gravity counterweight.

    I do worry somewhat about the reactor. Didn’t Zubrin allocate 5t for it, and now these guys want 3t? Has anybody done any real R*or*D on superlightweight selfcontained superreliable nucs? That seems to be a *big* missing piece in Mars tech to me.

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